NHL Winter Classic 2012: Henrik Lundqvist Proves to Be the Difference

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NHL Winter Classic 2012:  Henrik Lundqvist Proves to Be the Difference
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The 2012 NHL Winter Classic is in the books.  The New York Rangers overcame a 2-0 deficit by scoring three unanswered goals to hand the Philadelphia Flyers another loss this year.  With the victory, New York moved to 3-0 against the Flyers on the season.

The Flyers got the scoring started when Brayden Schenn scored his first career goal in the NHL off a pass from the blue line that Henrik Lundqvist couldn't control.  Less than two minutes later, Claude Giroux banged home his 18th goal of the season and momentum seemed to be on the Flyers' side.

Rangers winger Mike Rupp would quickly halt that momentum by beating Sergei Bobrovsky 30 seconds later.  Rupp later tied the game up 2:41 into the third period.  Brad Richards poked in the game winner at 5:21 of the third period. 

Lundqvist made 34 of 36 saves, including a penalty shot by Daniel Briere with about 19 seconds left in regulation.  That penalty shot, along with several other calls had Rangers head coach John Tortorella questioning whether there were other motives involved by the league. 

I'll admit as a non-biased watcher of the game, it certainly seemed like there were several head scratching calls down the final stretch of the game.  Ryan Callahan got around Flyers defender Kimmo Timonen and was hauled down, but was called for a dive which sent both players to the box and created a 5-on-4 situation. 

The delay of game call against Ryan McDonagh, which resulted in a penalty shot, was also quite hard to fathom. 

In the end, the Rangers overcame the adversity of a 2-0 deficit and the calls in question to earn a big two points in this Eastern Conference showdown.  They remain in first place in the conference.

Overall, many people seemed to enjoy the game, which should bode well for future NHL Winter Classics.   

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